Clients often ask, “Is bipolar disorder my fault?” Bipolar disorder isn’t your fault. Focus on getting effective bipolar disorder treatment.
Bipolar disorder is complicated. In fact, most people who have bipolar disorder receive one or more wrong diagnoses. Accurate diagnosis is a prerequisite to effective treatment. Get diagnosed by a psychologist with experience identifying and treating bipolar disorder.
Having bipolar disorder is not your fault; getting treatment is your responsibility
Once you are diagnosed, you can and should seek effective bipolar disorder treatment. In many cases, treatment can help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. According to the National Institutes of Mental Health:
Treatment helps many people—even those with the most severe forms of bipolar disorder—gain better control of their mood swings and other bipolar symptoms.… Long-term, continuous treatment helps to control these symptoms.… When done in combination with medication, psychotherapy (also called “talk therapy”) can be an effective treatment for bipolar disorder. It can provide support, education, and guidance to people with bipolar disorder and their families.
Lifestyle also plays an important role in controlling bipolar disorder.
What causes bipolar disorder?
Science doesn’t know the precise cause of bipolar disorder, and the factors may vary for different people. With that caveat, here are several known factors:
- Biological differences. Bipolar disorder seems to be associated with physical changes in the brain.
- Neurotransmitter imbalances. People suffering from bipolar disorder tend to have neurotransmitter imbalances. (Neurotransmitter are naturally occurring brain chemicals.)
- Genetic traits. If you have a first-degree relative, such as a sibling or parent, with bipolar disorder you are more likely to experience bipolar disorder as well.
- Environmental factors.
When should I reach out to a psychologist for bipolar disorder treatment?
Distinct periods of depression, mania, and hypomania characterize bipolar disorder. If you have any symptoms of depression, mania, and hypomania, seek the help of a qualified psychologist, or other mental health provider. Bipolar disorder doesn’t get better on its own. If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, it’s time to reach out for help.
- Do you experience extreme mood swings?
- Is your emotional instability disrupting your life or the life of your family?
- Do emotional crashes leave you depressed?
- Have you experienced euphoria financial, legal or relationship trouble as a result of mood swings?
Get emergency help when needed
If you experience suicidal thoughts or behavior, of if you have a loved one who is in danger to self or to others, get emergency help now. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
In the United States, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor. Use that same number and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.